The Thread

You might just possibly have noticed it: during the course of each post I write, something suggests itself to me as a possible topic for the next one.  It would be stretching it to claim that there was some kind of logical progression, but there is, I think, a common thread that somehow, through means known only to itself, binds this whole thing together; that meanders on from small aside to main theme along a passage all of its own making.  Mostly, it is not a conscious thing, generally I see it only when I bulk-edit at the end of a week, and I do not want to try to deceive you into thinking that it is always easy to spot.  I am notoriously easy to distract.  My head is full of crazy paving, the next slab could take me in any direction.  There are times when my imagination is tethered to the rational by a bungee rope.  The bridges that exist in my brain are often unsuitable for heavy traffic.  The building blocks are all in place, but the infrastructure has been designed by a three year old.

Nor, if I’m honest, is what occurs to me during the course of writing one piece necessarily anything to do with what is being written about.  My brain is seldom in one place at any one time.  What links one thing to another could be a delivery driver dragging me away from the keyboard, a news item enticing me away from ‘research’, a digger in the building site behind me that looks exactly like a praying mantis, ‘why is a bulldozer a bulldozer?’, ‘why do dragonflies suddenly appear to be the size of birds?’   Oh look, a squirrel… 

Almost inevitably, when I go into a piece with something to say, it is that which is edited out in the end.  This is intended to be a lightweight distraction, not a political or social tract, and I don’t do opinion very well.  It is actually very straightforward: it is not about growing old but how the world looks to someone who is growing old.  It is intended to raise a brief smile for those dozen or so brave souls who take the time to read it with any regularity.  As the world grows increasingly bleak, I feel ever more conscious that, both for my own health and for the integrity of a blog that claims to be ‘humour’, I need to ignore this grinding reality.  If you want news, you have The BBC; if you want gossip, you have social media*; and if you want to know why everything about the modern world is so shit, you have The Daily Mail.  So if you wonder why, as the world is falling down, I am discussing my aching knees or questioning why my ever growing ears should be getting incrementally less effective (and, incidentally, more hairy), that’s probably why.  And if you find yourself thinking ‘hasn’t he said that before?’ then the answer is almost certainly ‘yes’ and if I haven’t, well, you’ve got a lot of reading to do to prove me wrong.

As an old person you cease to expect anything new to happen to you, and when it does it will almost always require a scan.  I no longer embrace the new, I reluctantly adapt to it – like a new pair of pants.  I find that life enhancing gadgets are almost always far too confusing to use and, in any case, almost certainly promise to enhance something that I was, heretofore, unconscious of even possessing.  I suppose, in the fullness of time, I will let the fridge take over the food ordering, I will allow my car to drive me around and the banes of my life will become those of somebody else.  What will I write about then?  Doubtless a fridge full of pickled beetroot, waking up in County Durham when I was meant to be sleeping my way to the Co-op, the fact that inconti-pants are not what they used to be and whoever put my shirt on put the buttons at the back.  I will give up trying to make a point, satisfied merely that I can finish a sentence without forgetting why I started it.

Does it bother me?  Not really, because by the time it does, it won’t, and as long as nobody decides to delete my own last paragraph**, I’ll be happy…

*Whatever that is.

**In case you’re lost – and for that nobody would blame you – you could read ‘Lost in the Edit’ – it might explain, although somehow I doubt it…

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10 thoughts on “The Thread

  1. They do say old age is not for the faint-hearted. I am a fair bit your senior, I believe, but I have to keep reminding myself that I am “elderly” even though my body has been telling me this for the past 30 decades, ever since I was first told “you’ll have to live with it” at the ripe old age of 40. My biggest problem is being condescended to by young people. I do so hope I never did that when I was young. I appreciate your humour, Colin. It is hard to be humourous when the world is falling to bits around us so to make someone laugh is a gift. Thank you.

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  2. But can anyone answer why my ever growing ears should be getting incrementally less effective and, incidentally, more hairy? I mean, now that you’ve brought it up I can’t quit thinking about it.

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